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Conflicted About “47 Ronin”

Related Post: Attack on Titan: Analogy to World War II.

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From Left to Right: Rinko Kikuchi, Tadanobu Asano, Hiroyuki Sanada, Keanu Reeves, and Kou Shibasaki.
Disclaimer: I do not own this image!!

I am very conflicted about going to see 47 Ronin starring Keanu Reeves in theaters December 25th.

On one hand, the film seems to have little to do with Chūshingura (忠臣蔵), the original kabuki (歌舞伎) play I read in the “Traditional Japanese Literature” class I took at Sophia University (上智大学) in Tokyo. Moreover, the film has reportedly not done well with Japanese audiences.

BUT, on the other hand, I really want to support the amazing selection of Japanese actors cast in the film. And, for that reason, I’ve devised the following list…

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Disclaimer: I do not own this image!!

Hiroyuki Sanada (真田広之)

  • Best known for in the U.S.: Dogen on Lost (Season 6).
  • Notable Accolades: He performed with the Royal Shakespeare Company and received an honorary MBE award.
  • Why is he awesome?: While filming The Last Samurai (2003), he almost cut off Tom Cruise’s head (“Cruise has brush with death”).
  • Film Recommendations: Sanada-san stars in my favorite samurai film The Twilight Samurai (2002). This film has only two fight scenes (one short and one long), but they are both jaw-dropping in their seemingly effortless choreography and will have you on the edge of your seat!

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Disclaimer: I do not own this image!!

Disclaimer: I do not own this image!!

Kou Shibasaki (柴咲コウ)

  • Best known for in the U.S.: Mitsuko Souma in Battle Royale (2000); she was slated to play Gogo Yubari’s twin sister Yuki in Kill Bill, but dropped out due to other commitments.
  • Notable Accolades: She won a Japanese Academy Award for her performance in Go (2001).
  • Why is she awesome?: She starred in the first Japanese television drama I ever watched called Orange Days (2004) in which she played a deaf character, performing all her lines in Japanese sign language.  Plus, she’s an adorable pop singer (“KISS Shite” by KOH+).
  • Film Recommendations: Shibasaki-san stars alongside Joe Odagiri in one of my favorite Japanese films called La Maison de Himiko (2005) about a young woman who is asked by her dying father’s young male lover to work in her father’s nursing home for gay men.

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Disclaimer: I do not own this image!!

Rinko Kikuchi (菊地凛子)

  • Best known for in the U.S.: Mako Mori in Pacific Rim (2013).
  • Notable Accolades: She was nominated for an Academy Award for her performance in Babel (2006).
  • Wh is she awesome?: She’s the first Japanese actress in 50 years to be nominated for an Oscar! Plus, she’s appeared in a number of films with Tadanobu Asano (see below) including his directorial debut Tori (2003).
  • Film Recommendations: I absolutely adore The Brothers Bloom (2009), starring Rachel Weisz, Adrien Brody, Mark Ruffalo, and (of course) Rinko Kikuchi!! :) Kikuchi-san silently pantomimes throughout this film and is an absolute delight to watch.

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Disclaimer: I do not own this image!!

Tadanobu Asano (浅野忠信)

ONE OF MY ALL-TIME FAVORITE ACTORS!

Some of these film recommendations might be hard to find outside of Japan. If you’re having trouble finding a title and really want to watch it, message me at gegallas@hotmail.com and I’ll see if I can help! :)

Also, for those of you who go see 47 Ronin, leave a comment here and let me know what you think!

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Copyright 2013 by G. E. Gallas


Planning for London!

london

by William Blake

As some of you may know, I was originally planning a trip to the UK for February 2013. Circumstances have changed a countless number of times and I thought I wouldn’t be able to go at all. But, thanks to The American Pavilion Cannes Film Program, I think I’ll be able to make my dream of seeing some of William Blake’s work in person come true (among other dreams of screenwriting, filmmaking, etc.). I’ll be in France for about two weeks, and I hope to tack on a few days in London during my journey back to the States!!!

I’m currently in the process of figuring out my travel arrangements. There are so many different routes to Nice, France, it’s difficult to decide the best way to go. Possibly, I could stop over in New York or Amsterdam or even Paris. I’m hoping my dad (Mr. Globetrotting Lawyer himself) will be able to find me the best deal. Or perhaps I’ll try a travel agent.

The wonderful Naomi Billingsley at The Blake Society sent me a fabulous e-mail detailing all the best ways to see Blake’s work and historical sites in person. She suggested that I make a list of what I want to see, so I’ll be making a number of lists on my blog in an attempt to figure out how to schedule everything into two or three days.

  1. The Tate possesses an impressive collection of Blake’s works, but I believe many pieces just returned from Madrid and are not currently on display. I’m hoping that by May this will change. My #1 dream is to see The Ghost of a Flea in person — so I guess I’ll try contacting the Tate and ask them for more information. Naomi pointed out that there are a number of “view by appointment” Blake works at the Tate’s Print Room and that I could make an appointment to see them. I’ll have to browse their online catalogue.
  2. The British Museum has some Blake works in their Print Room as well and they are accessible without an appointment.
  3. According to Naomi, The Victoria and Albert Museum has four of Blake’s “fresco” paintings on permanent display and a collection of Blake’s watercolors in their Print Room, accessible without an appointment.
  4. Naomi also recommended a really amazing page on the Tate’s website detailing Blake historical sites (http://www2.tate.org.uk/williamblake/lambeth/london_intro.html). All these sites seem like they’re in a pretty concentrated area, so I think I’ll be able to see a lot of them!!

From here, I’d like to further explore the museum websites/online resources and figure out how much I can see and what I want to see the most in the few days I’m in London!

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Updates

January 28th

Today, finalized my travel arrangements! On the way from San Francisco to Nice, will be stopping over in Frankfurt. And on the way to London, will be stopping over in Belgium. Will be staying in London for three full days, staying at a decent hotel not far from all the museums and Blake historic sites. Can’t believe this is really happening!!!

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Copyright 2013 by G. E. Gallas


New Year’s Resolutions, Anyone?

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2012, My First Year in San Francisco!

I don’t usually do this “New Year’s resolution” thing. But I have so many short-term and long-term goals, I thought this would be a good way to organize my brain.

I’m not sure exactly how long it will take to complete this goal list, but I’m hoping to accomplish a good chunk within the coming months.

But, before that, I’d also like to make a list of my recent accomplishments. Often, I feel like nothing is moving forward, so hopefully this list will remind me that my hard work is paying off.

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Achievements of 2012

  1. Have been working incredibly hard on my new online graphic novel The Poet and the Flea.
  2. Have taken part in some wonderful collaborations and look forward to continuing/completing them: The First Reich and Elias & The City of Cats.
  3. Entered several screenplays into a variety of competitions and have received a great deal of positive feedback (see résumé).
  4. Nominated for a number of blog awards — Reader Appreciation Award, Very Inspiring Blogger Award (twice), Blog of the Year 2012 Award, Liebster Award, and Beautiful Blogger Award.
  5. Accepted into The American Pavilion 2013 Cannes Film Program!!!
  6. Plus, I now have an awesome boyfriend. (◕‿◕✿) 

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Goals for 2013

  1. Complete materials for Elias & The City of Cats (hopefully before the end of January) and send out to publishers.
  2. Finish first 10 pages of The First Reich and get them up online.
  3. Begin working with Masa and Gabe on full-length screenplay collaboration The Blanks (working title), to be finished before June 2013.
  4. Send out inquiry letters about my completed full-length screenplays to production companies.
  5. Finish the script for The Poet and the Fleahopefully somewhere between 60 – 75 pages.
  6. Work on my first zine (possibly a tie in with The Flea) and self-print it.
  7. Open up a Storenvy account to sell zines and other merchandise (prints, t-shirts, etc.).
  8. Work on the next 10 illustrated pages of The Poet and the FleaThen the next 10, and so on and so forth!!
  9. Find a reliable and talented director and/or producer to turn one of my short scripts into a short film. Then enter the short film into a number of festivals.
  10. Finally get an official internship, fellowship, and/or job in a field of interest.

Wish me luck!!

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For more updates, don’t forget to follow me on tumblr and/or twitter.

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Copyright 2012 by G. E. Gallas


Brief Update

Here is a brief update on my current creative projects and endeavors…!

Tuesday, August 7th

  1. Today, had lunch with the lovely Tina C.  She’s a really smart and wonderful lady. She gave me some helpful advice about The JET Programme (something I may do in the future) and the JLPT Japanese Language Proficiency Test (something I’ve been considering). We ended up speaking English with a bunch of random Japanese words thrown in (●´∀`●). I’m not sure if she’ll be staying in SF, but I hope we can become friends!
  2. Lately, been trying to practice my Japanese language skills thanks to my new iPad!  Downloaded the app “iBunkoHD” to read literature in the original Japanese (Akutagawa Ryūnosuke, Natsume Sōseki, Dazai Osamu, etc.). Downloaded another app “Japanese Advanced Phrases” to practice newspaper terms, 四字熟語 (yojijukugo: a word consisting of four kanji), idioms, etc.

Wednesday, August 8th

  • Continuing work on The Flea and The Man…

Thursday, August 9th

  1. Posted a new topic at a forum called Making Graphic Novels to promote The Poet and the Flea. Check out post here.
  2. With a discount from Stage32.com, applied to the Emerging Screenwriters 2012 Screenplay Competition. Information updated on “Applications” post, here.

Friday, August 10th

  1. Continuing work on The Flea and The Man…
  2. Thinking of signing up with Top Web Comics: Comic Rankings. Any advice?
  3. Finally connected with potential director/producer. He seems experienced, interested, and enthusiastic. Going to send him a few short scripts.

Saturday, August 11th – Sunday, August 12th

  • Continuing work on The Flea and The Man…

Monday, August 13th

  1. E-mails, e-mails, e-mails…!
  2. Trying to figure out the best way to scan The Poet and the Flea. Options, options, options…

Tuesday, August 14th

  1. Continuing work on The Flea and The Man…
  2. As recommended by a fellow artist, signed up with mlkshk.com. It’s a bit like Tumblr and Pinterest. Not quite sure how it works yet though… Forgot to mention, a few days ago, signed up with stumbleupon.com. Not quite sure how this one works either… I’ll figure it out eventually.
  3. Spoke again with potential director/producer. He has lots of interesting ideas for Robots Are a Girl’s Best Friend. Will speak again soon.

Etcetera

  1. The Poet and the Flea: 37 pages of written script (1 page of script = 4-6 illustrated pages), and about 36 pages (1-18, 21-23, 27, 29-30 completed, and 19-20, 24-26, 28, 31-36 in progress) of illustrated work.
  2. Continuing to help fellow screenwriter/filmmaker Jay Dial.

To Do:

  • Work on research, character sketches, etc. for Shannon.
  • Schedule second meeting with Shannon for August.
  • Attend The Pixel-Flick TV Actor/Filmmaker Alliance Second Meeting (August 18th).
  • Finish The Man Who Never Smiled by end of August.
  • Sign up with IMDbPro.
  • Apply to the Bluecat Screenplay Competition (before October 15th).
  • Sign up with Top Web Comics: Comic Rankings.

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For more updates, don’t forget to follow me on tumblr and/or twitter.

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Copyright 2012 by G. E. Gallas


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